6 months on, parliament acts on Chinese violations petition


Brenna Matendere

Harare–Parliament has finally acted on a petition calling for action against serious malpractices by Chinese miners at Premier Estate near Mutare in Manicaland province.

The action follows a recent report by NewsHub that revealed that the august house was ignoring the petition from the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) that was presented on 17 November 2023.


The clerk of parliament, Kennedy Chokuda, has set up a joint committee comprising the Mines and Mining Development and Environment and Tourism portfolios.

They committee held its first meeting on 27 May—more than six after the petition was sent to parliament—and is carrying out investigations.

After that, it will table its findings to parliament.

On 15 May, Chokuda wrote to the Mines permanent secretary, Pfungwa Kunaka, asking him to appear before the joint committee.

“The above-named joint committees are currently considering a petition from the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) regarding alleged unsustainable mining practices in Mutare.

“You are, therefore, invited to a meeting on Monday, 27 May 2024, at 1020hrs, in the National Assembly Chamber…The purpose of the meeting is for you to update the joint committees on the policy position regarding the mining practices in Mutare,” read the letter.

Chokuda also revealed in the letter that the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife had been invited to the meeting to come and respond to issues raised in the CNRG petition.

On 20 May, the CNRG director, Farai Maguwu, was also invited to appear before the joint committee.


In the petition, CNRG noted that Xu Zhong Jin Investments was mining along Mutare River, thereby causing siltation with far reaching consequences for Odzi and Save Rivers.

It also accused another Chinese company, Sino Africa Hui Jin Holdings, of acute environmental damage.

“Despite the existence of various government ministries and departments with the administrative authority to enforce policies to regulate the safety of the residents, blasting (by Sino Africa Hui Jin Holdings) takes place without any warning and at one time a house was destroyed by a flying rock.

“Hills are disappearing and, considering the ever-growing threat of climate change-related disasters, there is a real danger of flash floods which may claim many lives and destroy property,” reads the petition.

The natural resources watchdog added that the Premier Estate community had  “on many occasions sent delegations to the Environmental Management Agency offices in Mutare, but no action has been taken.”

The CNRG petition called on parliament to ensure citizens’ right to a safe environment and the sustainable exploitation of local natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations as provided under Section 73 of the constitution.

According to Section 119 of the constitution, “all institutions and agencies of the State and government at every level are accountable to Parliament”.

The right to petition parliament is guaranteed in Section 149 of the Constitution which states that: “Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to petition parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.

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